LOS ANGELES (AP) - Clayton Kershaw had a short night on the mound. It had less to do with his pitching and more to do with the way the Los Angeles Dodgers had been struggling for runs lately.
Manager Don Mattingly took his ace right-hander out of the game in favor of a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and the Dodgers trailing San Francisco's Matt Cain by three runs. But Juan Castro couldn't get the key hit, and the Giants ended up with an 8-5 victory Wednesday night on a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth by Cody Ross.
``I didn't really want to take him out there, but I basically had to at that point,' Mattingly said. ``We're down 4-1 and we've got the bases loaded, so we've got to take a shot at scoring some runs and getting back in the game right there.
``Castro was 2 for 3 off Cain, so at that point he was the best option,' he added. ``Matt Cain's tough, and you've got your hands full when you face him. So you've got to take advantage of every opportunity you get.'
Kershaw gave up seven hits and four runs in five innings. He had pitched 26 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Giants until they hit three consecutive two-out singles in the third inning, including Freddy Sanchez's RBI single, before a three-run rally in the fourth.
``I felt great, but maybe I was a little too predictable,' Kershaw said. ``I threw just two pitches, pretty much, and maybe should have mixed in a little more stuff. They found some holes in the third inning, and in the fourth it got contagious and they strung some hits together. Fortunately, they were all singles. But it was a frustrating night overall.'
Especially when the bat was taken out of his hands. Kershaw has four hits in 19 at_bats.
``It stinks being in that situation, but that's part of being in the National League. I understand it,' Kershaw said. ``We needed runs in that situation. I would have loved to stay in there a couple more innings and kind of redeem myself and give my team a chance.'
Matt Kemp homered for the Dodgers, who have lost four of five. Juan Uribe hit a two-run double and scored the tying run on James Loney's single during the Dodgers' two-out rally in the eighth against Giants closer Brian Wilson (4-1), who had converted his first 12 save opportunities this season.
Jamey Carroll led off the eighth with a single off Cain, eventually scoring on Uribe's drive into the left-center gap. Loney drove home Uribe with a tying single to right off Wilson, who hadn't pitched in six days after throwing 10 scoreless innings in his previous 10 appearances.
``There's no moral victories, but I always like to look for the positives - and definitely one of them was Juan Uribe lining a ball in the gap against one of the best closers in the game,' Dodgers second baseman Aaron Miles said. ``We fought back big, which is something we've been needing. It's a tough loss, but at the same time, you take pride in coming back against one of the best pitching staffs and bullpens in the game and grow from that.'
Ross broke the tie when he pulled a pitch by Lance Cormier (0-1) inside the left-field pole - just his third homer of the season for the first-place Giants.
``We definitely needed this one,' Ross said. ``I was just sitting in the outfield, going, 'No way this is going to happen again.' It's definitely a big one to come through. ... We just keep battling and grinding and don't give up.'
Wilson tipped over a water cooler in the Giants' dugout after retiring Gibbons to end the eighth. But Sanchez and Buster Posey singled in the ninth against Cormier, who stayed in the game because closer Vicente Padilla was unavailable with forearm stiffness. After the Dodgers failed to turn a double play, Ross put a high fly into the left-field porch.
Wilson recoiled in pain after throwing to pinch-hitter Russell Mitchell in the ninth, taking a few warmup tosses before deciding to stay in the game.
The Dodgers' late rally erased a stellar start by Cain, who allowed three hits while pitching into the eighth inning.
Cain extended his scoreless streak against Los Angeles to 20 innings, retiring the first 12 Dodgers before Kemp homered leading off the fifth inning. The right-hander retired eight straight at one point before giving up another run in the seventh.
The Giants returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since opening their championship defense here under a cloud of tragedy. On Opening Day, Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten by two men in Dodgers apparel in a parking lot after the game.
Stow's attackers still haven't been found despite an extensive police effort and more than $200,000 in rewards. Police distributed sketches of the attackers' likenesses to fans before the game.
Miguel Tejada drove in two runs in the Giants' highest-scoring performance since April 18. San Francisco scored more than four runs for the first time in two weeks while beating its biggest rivals for the third straight time.
San Francisco has won eight of 11 - losing its previous two in Colorado and briefly falling behind the Rockies in the NL West standings.
NOTES: Giants SS Mike Fontenot drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth after replacing Mark DeRosa with a 2-2 count. DeRosa strained his left wrist while checking his swing on a pitch in the dirt. ... Cain began the season 0 for 16 at the plate. ... Kershaw's scoreless innings streak against the Giants was the second-longest by a Dodgers pitcher against their biggest rivals, topped only by Don Sutton's 31 straight in 1977-78. ... San Francisco had scored fewer than five runs in its last 12 games and 16 of the past 17.
The Associated Press News Service
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